Switching a Provisioning / OSS System is never an easy task and often brings pain while acting imprudent. Any hasty action could cause a mass on problems, since we are dealing with real customers. Especially while working with large networks, many routers, many CMTS's and many customers. This is why you should take your time to think on every aspect your provisioning systems effects. So avoid going too fast! At the end of every successful system switch there are a lot of benefits especially while switching towards a 100% open source solution. But take your time to rethink this decision quit well.
We tried to summarize some of the negative aspects especially while staying at closed source software in a humoristic way here. Don't take this to serious and don't try to kill any of our team mates after reading this . Instead have fun.
Back to topic: This page reflects the NMS PRIME teams experiences while switching many ISP's with hundredths of CMTS's in the last two years towards a free and open source Provisioning System, towards NMS PRIME:
Our first, second and third principle recommendation to follow is:
"Theory is good, testing is GOLD!"
That's why we recommend a step-by-step migration approach, like
detailed verification of your NMS Prime installation
Testing, Testing, Testing, ..
Test all Modems and all CMTS vendors in a save test lab without customers killing you when something went wrong
Start with migrating your smallest network / CMTS / cluster first. A good size to start with is 50 to 150 modems. Less is more!
wait 2-3 weeks
identify and solve any uprising problem, and ask how to avoid these issue next time, since scaling next migrations will cause N x times the pain
Depending on how well the first migration works, how save you feel and how big your balls are get the next chunk of modems. We recommend 500 to 1000 modems.
wait 2-3 weeks
Focus on learning
identify and solve any uprising problem, and ask how to avoid these issue next time. Even if it sound hard during Taff times (migration times are taff!): focus on learning not on becoming a faster/better problem solver, since this will not scale!
Redo, Redo, Redo, ... Finish
Redo step 4 with 2 to 5 times more modems, until you are the KING of migration. Important: any migration step should give you and your team a learning what can be done better next times. Sometimes these are easy steps, like better informing customers, staff and technicians before a migration begins.
This approach allows fast, tested and easy scaling up, like
100 –> 400 –> 1000 –> 4000 –> 12000 –> 40000 –> ...
(Remember the story of "Sissa ibn Dahir" and the bet of chessboard.) Even doubling with each migration will bring you a fast finish
KING of migration
Celebrate your success with your team and a lots of beer. We recommend going in a bar You have done quit well!
Focus on schooling your staff and having fun with the new system. Focus on the good people / core members first, since this will scale faster than arguing with the naysayers!